Thursday, October 20, 2005

31 Days of Des' Horror Favourites: #12 Dead Man's Shoes

Why I like it: Those who know me kow that I like Nietzsche and a revenge drama. 2004's Dead Man's Shoes is a Nietzschean revenge drama. The byline is: "He's in all of us" and I'd have to agree.

It stars Paddy Considine (probably best known as the father from In America) as a soldier who returns home to Northern England only to find that his mentally-challenged brother has been absolutely brutalized by a group of lowlifes.

That's only the background of the story. In fact it begins in medias res and seethes with anger and outrage the entire time. Considine's character is the hero (no doubt about that) but by the end you begin to feel dirty for rooting for him. That's the kind of movie I like. It brings out a visceral reaction and touches something deep in the human psyche.

The film shows that there are some things that can't be let go and can't be forgiven. I refuse to go further into the plot as to save its intricacies from being unraveled but it's a tightly woven nugget of modern realist horror.

Considine turns the brutality on the tormentors in a series of terrifying scenes. Terrifying because you are enjoying what is happening a little too much. Mind games and scare tactics galore.

It twists and winds down to a jaw-dropping ending I simply adore. In part this is a revenge drama but it is the morality tale end of it that is most interesting. Nietzsche once wrote (and don't complain that it's not verbatim the book's in storage):


Those who stare into the abyss should beware for the abyss gazes also.
Those who hunt monsters become monsters themselves.


And never has this been truer than this film. It certainly has found its way into my top 5 of all time list funnily enough. Watch it now.

Check these out:
-Switchblade Romance-realist horror with a crazy ending.
-Frailty-Ditto.
-The Vanishing-Double ditto.

5 Bitching, Moaning and Praise

Blogger David Lee said...

"And remember, if you stare into the abyss The abyss stares also into you."
- Nietzsche

Not criticizing your paraphrasing. I'm not even saying this is the correct quote. It's just the version I found quoted most often.

"Let those who fight monsters take care lest they themselves become monsters"
- Various variations on this quote as well.

10:29 pm  
Blogger Des said...

Ah well...I had the right context anyway. Thanks David. The movie comes highly recommended and I'd like to hear you thoughts on it.

11:17 pm  
Blogger David Lee said...

I'm always on the lookout for good movies. That's why I read movie review sites and blogs. (That and because there's nothing like reading a take down of movie by a writer who loves bad movies.)

Dead Man's Shoes definitely sounds like something I'd like.

6:07 pm  
Blogger davesage said...

so far, you are the only person i know to use the word 'Nietzschean' in a sentence and not sound pretensious. good on you.

keep it up, des.

12:22 am  
Blogger Des said...

thanks Dave, that means a lot.

1:54 am  

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